German soldiers to be quizzed over prisoner

8th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 January 2007, Tuebingen, Germany (dpa) - German prosecutors said Monday that they would be questioning two members of a German elite military unit, following allegations of abuse by a former Guantanamo prisoner. Murat Kurnaz, a German resident with Turkish citizenship, was arrested in Pakistan two months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Suspected of supporting Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers, he was handed over to US authorities who took him to Afghanistan and then

9 January 2007

Tuebingen, Germany (dpa) - German prosecutors said Monday that they would be questioning two members of a German elite military unit, following allegations of abuse by a former Guantanamo prisoner.

Murat Kurnaz, a German resident with Turkish citizenship, was arrested in Pakistan two months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Suspected of supporting Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers, he was handed over to US authorities who took him to Afghanistan and then to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where he was held for four years until his release in August 2006.

Kurnaz has claimed that while in Afghanistan US forces handed him over to two members of the German Special Forces Command, KSK, one of whom pulled his hair, banged his head on the floor and stamped on him.

Prosecutors in Tuebingen said Kurnaz identified the man after being shown photos of 14 KSK members who might have been in contact with him in Afghanistan.

The second soldier was on duty at the same time as the man Kurnaz identified. Prosecutors said both were under investigation for causing bodily harm and would soon be questioned.

Prosecutors said they needed to establish the identity of the soldiers involved because the statute of limitation for the alleged offence was due to expire in January.

A German parliamentary committee is currently studying whether German security agencies breached any German rules while assisting post-2001, US anti-terrorism operations.

Kurnaz described his ordeal at the hands of the German soldiers in Afghanistan during a meeting with members of the European parliament last November.

"They asked me if I knew who they were and then they said 'We are the KSK'," he told Euro MPs, adding that the men had German flags on their uniforms and spoke German with him.

"I thought they would have some questions and that they could help me, but they told me I had chosen the wrong side," Kurnaz said. US authorities never issued an arrest warrant for Kurnaz and no legal proceedings were ever started against him, his lawyer has said.

During his term in Guantanamo, Kurnaz claims he was repeatedly mistreated, psychologically tortured and kept undernourished.

DPA

Subject: German news

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